Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up inverse kinematics (IK) chains, part of 3ds Max: Character Rigging.
Now, let's go ahead and set up our IK chains. Now IK stands for Inverse Kinematics. And it's a way of position your joints by translation rather than rotation. And it's great for positioning things such as feet. Now before we do this, let's go ahead and actually hide our geometry. So I'm going to go into my layer editor and I'm just going to click off geometry. So all we're seeing here is the bones. And this will make it a lot more easy to see what I'm doing.
Now, an IK Chain basically works off of bones. So basically it takes one bone and a number of bones after it in the chain. And it creates what's called an IK Handle or an IK Goal. And we have several types of IK Solvers in 3Ds Max. And we can find them by going animation IK Solvers. And we have HI, HD, IK Limb and SplineIK. Now HI is one that we'll be using a lot.
It's called history Independent Solver. And it's great for characters and joints as well as other things. HD solver is history dependant, and that's more for mechanical assemblies. Now we also have the IK Limb Solver which we will be using right now. And that's specifically for character animation, and one of the nice things about it is that you can use multiple IK Solutions on a change so you can have multiple handles and we're going to be needing that. And then finally we have a SplineIK Solver for things that really can be manipulated by a curve or a spline such as a tail of an animal or something like that. So we're going to choose IK Limb Solver. And you can see this little dotted line comes out. And so we're going to click on this ankle bone right here. What that does is it creates what's called an IK Goal, which is this little object here. So when we select that, you can see that by moving that goal. Or that handle you can manipulate the position of that foot.
And we're going to use this to control our foot from our control rig. But before we do that we need to add in a few more IK Handles and we're going to actually add one in for this bone and for this bone. So we're going to go ahead and select this ankle bone. Animation > IK Solvers > IK Limb Solver. And then I'm just going to click on the toe bone, so what we're doing here is we're just creating a simple IK Handle here that moves the foot at the middle.
And then I'm going to go ahead and select the toe. And again IK Solvers > IK Limb Solver. And we're going to go to the very tip of the toe, the toe end. And then that creates a IK Handle that will allow us to tap the toe. Now each of these IK Handles has a name. So if we want, we can look in our Scene Explorer here, and you can see that one, two, three IK Handles or IK Chains. And let's go ahead and name those descriptively.
I'm just going to go ahead and select the first one and go IK, what is this? This is the left foot. This second one here. That's actually right at the ball of the foot so let's go ahead and use that as the name. And then the last one is the tip of the toes so let's go ahead and go IK_LToe. So now that we have these named descriptively we can start to hook them into our rig.
- Setting up layers
- Drawing and positioning bones in the skeleton
- Rigging foot controls
- Creating hip and spine controls
- Setting up IK and FK skeleton controls
- Wiring the IK/FK switch
- Rigging hands
- Skinning characters
- Setting up single- and multiple-axis face controls